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Israel 62, Us 41, United States 27, New York 15, California 13, Clinton 12, Fema 11, Iraq 10, Washington 9, America 8, U.s. 7, Jerry Hagstrom 6, Obama 5, Texas 5, Libya 4, Egypt 4, Sandy 4, Andrew Grossman 4, Tom Ricks 4, Maryland 4,
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  CSPAN    Washington Journal    News/Business. Live morning call-in program with  
   government officials, political leaders, and journalists.  

    November 20, 2012
    7:00 - 10:00am EST  

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at hurricane sandy and federal spending. then the talk about military ethics. then at 9:15 a.m. eastern, how the lame-duck session of congress may deal with the farm bill. ♪ > host: good morning and welcome to "washington journal." president obama is in the final day of the southeast asia trip. he is in cambodia and has just back hillary clinton to the middle east to talk about violence in the area. we would like to know whether what you think the role of the
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united states should be in the conflict in the middle east. here are the numbers. you can also find us online. you can tweet us @cspanwj. facebook.ee spoc here is the have one of the washington post. secretary clinton will travel to the middle east as israel always risky choices on and gaza. clinton will travel to the middle east today to discuss ongoing violence in gaza according to white house officials she will talk with leaders in jerusalem, ramallah and cairo. issues leading the east asia summit that president obama is an app. the death toll in the gaza strip surpassed 100 on monday.
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with evidence that an egyptian a truce is in the side. ben rose, the deputy national security adviser for strategic administration at the white house says clinton and obama have been talking about this threat to the trip. -- throughout the trip. they discussed the way forward. they concluded the best way to the dance discussions with leaders is for secretary clinton to take this trip beginning with our close partner, israel. and clinton's middle east talks do not include hamas leaders. they say the secretary will not meet with hamas, that states does not recognize diplomatically. clinton cut short her stay at the east asia summit to take this trip.
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headline in the "baltimore sun" -- middle east conflict puts the united states in a bind. israel risks other goals across the region. by all accounts, the damage to united states influence in the area is likely to grow if israel sends ground troops into gauze and, as it is threaded to do to
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stop hamas from firing rockets into israel. joining us now to give us more insight into what is happening is a made east correspondent with the wall street journal. thank you for being with us. where are you? guest: i am coming back from southern israel, from tele aviv. they have been shooting down in about rockets. -- inbound rockets. host: charles, give us perspective insectary clinton taking a trip there. how significant is this step? guest: it is tough.
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new powers like the emerging powers and a bigger roles in this area like in turkey, these are governments that want to be close to the united states, would like to depend on the united states for aid, but at the same time, these are new democratic governments that are much more answerable to the popular votes, the electorate than all but dictatorships were. and the violence years putting them under a lot of pressure to distance themselves from israel and the united states. it is making it difficult for the united states to get off on ot. right fough
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host: is this a moment to see how much influence the united states on the lines you are talking? i am looking at a story here. could this be a reflection of united states credibility and influence in the area depending on what happens next? guest: this is an area where there are new powers and we do not know how the new powers are going to interact. but this has been defining the area for decades. or these new democratic governments going to deal with this conflict? a much different would be than the old traditional ways.
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this is a defining moment. and i think secretary clinton wants to be here and a part of that and engaged as much as possible so the united states can stay with these emerging powers in this area. host: a headline in your papers as gauze the toll rises, as a top militant is targeted. give us a sense of how what is happening there now compares to past incidents, passed a break out of the violence? what is new? what is difference? what is the same? guest: it has hardly been -- it has been a violent and a ferocious campaign. it is significantly less than in 2009.
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the ultimate death toll than was close to 1400. it did a lot of damage to israel's reputation. there are trying to avoid that scenario. it is hard to know what those numbers -- if they are true. you are not seeing a safety measure of international condemnation that tucson past operations. they maintain a fairly decent measure of international support. but now it is to the point where, they are facing pressure to launch a ground invasion.
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so, that is where we are at at this point. there is going either to be a cease fire or an expansion. host: he started out by telling ask that you were near the dome, the defense that israel has in place. guest: it is been pretty remarkably effective. i think the numbers -- 800 rockets at israel, about 300 have been shot down by a dome. once the rocket is launched, the greater our picks it up and the tax its trajectory and determines whether the rocket will hit a predetermined map of
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built up areas. it lets it go if it will not. but if it is heading towards a built up area, it shoots it down. and when it tries to shoot it down and has about an 80%, 90% success rate. you can imagine how different the pressure in israel would be if those brianne records that might have landed on a buildup areas actually landed. -- if those rockets might have landed on it built up areas actually landed.
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host: charles levinson, speaking with us from israel. thank you for taking the time. our question for you is what is the united states role, what it should be. on our line for democrats, good morning. caller: our role has been so far, israel can be no wrong. but the majority of americans do not support israel right or wrong. that they can do no wrong. so if the american public were to suffer and show there were suffering because of israel's policies, they get us and some sort of a mess, i think israel will lose support of the american public. and if they do, elected officials will suddenly change their tune and not be saying all of these things that we have to
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support israel no matter what they do. the non violence solution is to join the movement to boycott israeli products and to withdraw and investments in is really industries the same way we did with south africa ove. it was the americans who made that decision and took action against south africa -- that got nelson mandela out of a prison. i think the non-violence solution will be for the american public to think about where they put their money. and this as we withdraw money from israel, and it this way, i believe that the leaders in israel will decide that it will be better to live in peace than to abuse the palestinians. host: here is a tweet. stop sending our planes and
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bombers. let us take a look at a story and politico. our last caller speculated on the viewpoint of americans. this is a poll asking about united states support for israeli actions. it is as the majority of americans believe israel military attack on the gaza strip is justified according to a poll released yesterday. only a quarter of americans think the israeli response to rockets fired the country's cities is unwarranted. the poll found, while 57% believe the response is proper, and 19% have no opinion. dozens of people in the gaza have died as a result of the attack, which were launched last week in response to repeated shelling from islamic militants in the area. the operation, dubbed pillar of defense began with an air strike that killed hamas' chief of operations.
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let us go to maryland, on our line for independents, marilyn. caller: i think we should not be supporting israel all of the time. they have been over there on -- and i see on the news that a lot of kids are being killed. innocent people. and we support israel. we cannot afford to, you know, support israel. everything they do. and every time you go against israel, they bring up the holocaust and so forth. and this is a terrible thing it, killing these innocent people a red there. for every is really, -- killing and bombing. giving them money and bombs to do it. that is why they hate us. and i think it is terribly wrong.
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we shouldn't be supporting israel and killing innocent people. host: or should stay with israel as our allies, so much, and a that is to be true. what do think the role should be for the united states in the middle east conflict? that is our question. let us look of some more news stories to get perspective. disks an ap story of -- this is an ap story of an attack. an israeli man attacked a lightly wounded -- and lightly wounded a security guard at the united states embassy in tel aviv. the man's motive was unknown. political motives were not suspected. that is according to a police spokesman. working at another tweet --
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looking at a story coming to us from the "baltimore sun" -- it recaps the conflict and to assess a time line of what is happening in the past week and gives a viewpoint of the region. there was a border clash that would give the four is really soldiers, and a dozen militants and israel exchanged rocket and shell fire. in november 13, is real and hamas said messages via egypt indicating interest in a truce, but then it degraded from there. at the question is whether egypt can play a role, or the united states which has sent hillary clinton, can play a role.
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the israelis debate a ground invasion of your reporting from gaza city, the olive orchards, they lied to enter the border. monday the area was a virtual no mans land. hundreds of families have fled. it says that gazana are not the only ones encouraged about a ground invasion. talks in cairo, continue in cairo. let us hear from on next call, terry in maryland, on our line for republicans. caller: america has no real influence in the middle east. i say that because we have been trying to negotiate this cents
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ronald reagan. and if we had any influence with the arab-speaking population, we basically would have succeeded by now. the reality is, for half of the countries, we are nothing more than ana tm, and the other half, -- we are nothing more nothingan atm and for the others we are nothing more than an antagonist. it is not something we discuss in the news. therefore, all it is is people attacking israel. it is not i believe what the underlying theme is for the muslim population. and that is to regain glory of the old muslim empire. host: any sense that the united states involvement over the
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decades, any sense that the united states had a positive impact and things could have been worst? caller: no. of all of the countries there, with the exception of jordan, no country really allows us to influence them. host: a tweet from gary, he says our role in the middle east should be non. israel takes care of its own. not our business. let us go to steve, fla., on our line for independents. caller: i wish more americans would learn that when you are sitting next to a nation or group of people who continually fire rockets into your nation without any concern whatsoever
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or justification that continually, israel has every right to protect itself and should continue to do so. i totally wish for a solution. as a matter of fact, the palestinian people have been offered a solution three times to their benefit, and they have turned it down. host: what you think united states' role should be? caller: with president obama, i do not know exactly what our role is. i believe he is doing it behind closed doors i am mike past presidents. i do not think being more vocal about it would help the
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situation. i would hope the government of egypt, which receives $1 billion a year to support its military, would take a more active role along with president hama . host: from the l.a. times, 18. as for into turmoil by the arab spring uprising, the right to defend itself has been one of few constants and then is not changed despite the well- publicized rocky relationship between president obama and benjamin netanyahu. if israel sends ground troops into gaza to stop the hamas militant group from firing rockets into israel. president obama has spoken repeatedly with leaders in israel and egypt. and hillary clinton has spoken
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with other officials while she and obama went ahead with a visit to thailand. let us go to net call and washington, d.c. on our line for democrats. caller: i believe the united states should always stand behind israel. whether it is president obama or our leaders, they seem to deviate from that. we as american citizens should be adamant. this is one of the first things i will stand up for as an american and support for israel. host: how would you like to see the united states demonstrated that? caller: if get out there in protest, show our support. however, i believe strongly, this is one of the few things i believe strongly for. host: with do you think that means in terms of actual policy. what about the american government?
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caller: we should support israel and not deviate from that. president obama cannot talk out of both sides of his mouth. host: let us look of this, and from twitter. steve says -- the united states role in the middle east conflict? i have a feeling we will be asking this question of 100 years from now. you can join the conversation on facebook. tammy writes in -- if we need to promote peace and nothing but peace. a dead child is a dead child in a matter what church they are raised in it. and coming up soon on a c-span at noon, we will be broadcasting a segment that has to do with this issue. the woodrow wilson center will be having a panel talking about defining american priorities in
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the middle east. that is at noon. the moderator's the vice- president from new initiatives and a distinguished scholar historian. that will be woodrow wilson center event happening at noon today. from indiana on our line for independents, hi, omar. caller: hi. i did want to say that what israel is doing is horrendous. it has been going on, they killed 15,000 back and 119. 1400 back in 2006. already well over 100. i believe that if nuclear war comes to this world, israel will be because of it. and i also believe that country is going to be the downfall of our own country. thank you. host: let us go to upper malboro maryland, on our line for democrats.
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caller: i have no problem with the united states supporting israel, but they need to be even-handed. we support israel no matter what they do. but netanyahu knows the president is calling mr. to asia. -- is going on the trip to asia. all we have been talking about is what is going on in israel. israel does not want peace. because as long as they can play the part of the victim, they are entitled to a billion dollars in a financial aid from the united states. and we are trying to befriends and the middle east, trying to make friends with libya and leaders in egypt. and there sabotaging our foreign policy. thank you. host: we will look how much money goes out internationally
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from united states. asiadent obama's trip to -- obama challenges myanmar on the visit. he later criticized cambodia's record. the president is using his asia trip to make the first presidential visit here. he called for american-style democracy or they take orders from civilians. it is going on to another headline relating to the president's trip, obama urges more reform in his historic visit. you can see the president along with -- president obama was
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riding in his motorcade from the first united states president to visit the long isolated nation money suddenly ordered an ounce of gold a detour on monday. -- when he suddenly ordered a detour on monday. the president walked over to a statue. and he went through some of the local traditions and have some of the experience there before meeting with leaders and then of .ours leave theip could lea
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nation ran into with trading allies. we will look more headlines in the news, let us give back your phone calls and hear from bobby in memphis, tenn. on our line for democrats. we are talking about the united states role in the middle east. caller: i am shocked i got through. i think we need to stop supporting them and stop pouring more money there. we talk about the deficits. that puts a lot more money into our caucus. host: when you say them, and do? caller: israel.
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they are not as focused over there. i do not understand the whole situation. they can start any disruption they want to, whenever they want to. it is just time to stop. host: what you think that should result in? what you think that would do to the region? caller: i do not know. palestinians and those guys fight each other, too. i do not know. i think we need to get our money out of their can stop picking sides. and allowed them resolve their
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own issues. host: let us of the money trail. this from the "huffington post." looking at the united states money that goes overseas. israel, over $3 million. it pays off when it comes to foreign aid. we will look of other countries here. afghanistan, over $2.3 million. that is another place america spends significant amounts of money. let us look and pakistan, a $2.1 million. the headline of this, surprised that pakistan comes and head of the roc iraq? it does. assistance has declined recently to iraq. matt, on our line for republicans. caller: i believe that we need
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to -- support american interest within the region. and despite certain acts that our allies may take, when we have incidence like the benghazi incident, now more than ever do any to stand by our allies within a very tormented area that is put through war. we need leadership from washington to guide this nation through these issues because we are now in a state within the world were the united states is pretty much the batting dumb of
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any peace mission. host: james says this in terms of the united states role, it should be to make peace. he is writing that on our facebook page. you can join the conversation by looking for c-span and weighing in at their. let us go to barbara and west virginia on our line for republicans. caller: good morning. i certainly support israel. i want everyone to remember that the cowardly hamas put their rocket launchers right in amongst the women and children. they are almost like beer. the box stay in the woods and let the does and fawns , house where they are exposed. that is how hamas is. tellsmember, god's worrd
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us that he will bless those who help israel, and a curse those who hurt israel. host: what you think the united states role should be? caller: to support israel and all costs. anything they need, because god is on their side, they will be -- can he said he would bring israel back as a nation, he is done that in 1948. and they are there to stay. i am a christian. but i feel like i m a jew. because my savior was a jew. and i think every single cent that we give to israel is well
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worth it. host: jessie, on our line for independents. caller: i do not think we should be sending our money, our troops over there. i think we need to leave the area. we have enough of our own problems. that we need to deal with first before we can go out and do stuff in the world. host: we are broke but giving billions to other nations. is the best we can do with foreign policy, so echoing the comments of our last caller. let us take a look the other stories". at the stories -- and investors showed optimism that the fiscal cliff will be avoided. investors have spent a tense few
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weeks watching for smoke signals out of the nation's capital for indications that democrats and republicans are nearing a compromise. and on monday they found reason for optimism. to president obama city was confident a deal would be reached. it they say they are making progress. usa today, investors curious to how the market might react if the fiscal cliff is avoided. looking at some of the debates over the fiscal cliff as well as entitlement reform and the plan sequestration cuts, the wall street journal says that entitlements have a split democrats, changes to medicare, they are being debated as the debatedlooms. debate looms.the
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they are supporting for pushing for all safety net programs to be largely excluded from budget negotiations. and the tinker crowd. they would approve of making cuts to the machinery of the health-care system. and the go big crowd, could they are willing to entertain a bigger ideas, such as raising the medicare eligibility age and using the means testing. and grover norquist, he is plenty wants to reduce government debt to the size or we can grab it in a bathtub. -- where we can at ground it in a bathtub.
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conservative activists lashing out at the establishment. they are angry over gop lashes. evangelical leaders have a simple message about mitt romney's presidential bid. we told you so. the commentary section of the washington times -- republicans are white males and old and there must welcome new demographics. let us go to shows up in texas on our line for democrats, hello. caller: good morning. in is been a while since i got on here. host: go ahead.
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caller: i think the day that the support for israel goes down, it will be bad. we need to support them 100%. people that are against support for israel, they should look out there putting the weapons in churches and stuff. they should be outraged. i know there will never be peace between israel and palestinians. it is in the bible. host: on twitter -- only supported them with resources, no boots. on our line for republicans. caller: good morning.
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thank you for the last caller. he stole my thunder. my christian a pitifully the united states must stand behind israel -- i am a christian and i believe the united states must stand behind israel. our love of israel and the birthplace of jesus christ must be strong. iran has threatened to blow it off the map. a more of our rage should be centered on libya and benghazi. but i know that this country, i hope it is not true, but i hope they do not turn -- read the bible. we must always stand with israel. thank you. host: let us go to harold on our line for independents.
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caller: my comment is in response to several callers. perhaps in chattanooga, tenn., if they woke up with 300 rockets not only aimed at it, how upset would they be with their neighbor kentucky for conspiring it. to find out that it was iran that was producing the rockets. the argument is really against iran. and i wish that our president as well as secretary of state would be engaged in a peacemaking right now and come back from this and get involved in the process. i think it is helpful that they are running ahead. but i think the president is probably the most powerful man in the world and he could use his weight to bringing about peace. in the united states should not send troops into the area, but
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obviously many to support a country that is being bullied. host: before we let you go, what you think that hillary clinton can do? and what did you think about john mccain a's call by the weekend, from someone was experience in politics? caller: i think is nothing but the american interest at heart. i think bill clinton would be a great political force in the middle east. and perhaps see along with secretary of state would be terrific. i do not know whether the president wants to use president clinton as opposed to secretary clinton, but either one would bring about a strong force, meaning not troops on the ground, but a mental state of
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force saying we are concerned about this area and we want peace immediately. people are being killed every day. thank you very much. host: secretary of state hillary clinton has been in the middle east. she is left the president's trip in east asia to go to the area and meet with leaders. here is what traci says on facebook. our role should be to help broker a cease-fire and get back to fixing our own country. and followers on facebook said they like that comment. you can enjoy and that conversation by looking for c- span on a facebook. jeff wright on twitter, our role and the middle east should be one of peace. but to back israel always, nl. on our line for democrats, hi.
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caller: i support israel. i think we need to be behind them 100%. they created the drone program. i do not understand why they are not sending never hundreds of drums. the last five, six years, we even have a bigger drones, we ought to send some of those over and help them out. these people are the brotherhood. they are our enemies. and as for clinton going are there, she should go along with her husband. host: you do not think she can do anything on her own? caller: i think that with her husband, with his power and recognition around the world, i think he would do, both of them would do a good job. i think he would be better. he would be the best secretary of state. other ladyt want that read th
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in there. there's too much conflict and the parties. it is not going to work. it is going to be a longer process. why even put up with all the fighting going on with the parties. just forget about it. john kerry, i am not even sure about. i do not know if they can, but bill clinton would be the best one. i do not know if they are allowed to do that. host: was look at a story in this the moment of what is happening with susan rice. but first, let us go to jody, on our line for republicans. caller: hi, libby. i am a supporter of israel, not just from a christian standpoint, but israel is the only democracy in the middle
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east, and the rest are terrorists. extreme muslims have the intention of destroying israel and they are anti-western and i think we should stop all financial aid to any of those, especially pakistan. we should be not boots on the ground, but support israel and every other way that we can. host: i mentioned there's news about susan rice, house republicans have come out and said. she is unfit to lead the state department. this is a headline from huffington post. facing 97 house republicans sent a letter to barack obama on monday saying the u.n. ambassador susan rice miss led the nation about the attack on the united states consulate in libya. looking at one of last news item from politico, congressman alan
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west, if republican, has conceded florida's 18th district. this in a statement to politico -- the republican had been challenging the vote counting process and st. lucie county. we were watching to see how that was resolved. allen west conceding that race. thank you for all of your calls. on thursday morning, one of our first segment at 7:45 will be speaking to a professor at the university of maryland. there will give some insight into the current situation in the middle east. that is all for this segment. coming up next, we will look to the effort to rebuild and fix up the damage in the wake of hurricane sandy. the wall street journal's andrew grossman will join us for that.
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thomas ricks will be here to talk about that. we will be right back. ♪ >> , there are many people who might take issue with a grand setting the union during the civil war. did not lay gannett do that? he did. i will not a grant was the only person to save the union. but he was the commanding general. he was the general looks up to the surrender of the army of northern virginia under robert e. lee. if anybody won the war on the battlefield, if you could say that any one person did, and of course cannot, but one of the things that we do in history is regionalized, we simplify.
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because history, reality is simply too complicated to get our heads around if we deal with it in its full complexity. so grant saved the union during the civil war, and i do contend that grant saved the union during reconstruction as well. >> hw brands on grant. >> how does one adequately express his feelings about a special friend? when that friend is also a world i come? in national hero of unimaginable proportions of.
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and a legend whose name will live on long after all here today had been forgotten. >> fate looked down kindly on us when she chose neil to be the first to venture to another world. and to have the opportunity to look back from space at the beauty of our own. it could have been another. but it wasn't. n one.wasn't for a reason no one could have accepted responsibility with more dignity and more grace than neil armstrong. he embodied all that is good. and all that is great. about america.
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>> more from the memorial service for neil armstrong thanksgiving day at 10:00 a.m. eastern on c-span. and before 11:30, is behind the scenes look at teenagers in the white house. >> "washington journal" continues. host: andrew grossman is a reporter with the wall street journal. thank you for being here. you covered the new york delegation, new york politics you are just in the area on biden's trip up. tell us about the damages sought along the coast of new jersey and new york. what is the situation like a couple weeks later? guest: along the jersey shore, i have not seen that yet, it was really bad. there were a lot of towns, many beach communities on a barrier island.
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there are still streets covered with sands, it looks like snow is essentially. there are houses that have been picked up and turned a 45 degrees. people are starting to trickle back into these neighborhoods. lot of places, it looks like a ghost town. there are still buildings boarded up. some of them have a spray paint on them and look pretty much closed. not many people around. usually if you are in a motorcade d.c. people waving, there it was pretty desolate. host: how much interaction of the president get with people there, and what complaints are they bringing it to his ears? guest: there were not a lot of residents around. was mostly speaking to first responders, local officials. spoke to miers about the beaches, they looked like there were talking about the erosion of. he got a briefing on a tree
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replenishment. because these barrier beaches protecting the houses behind them. there are issues aredunes. should they build them higher. places where there were high dunes, the house is behind them were protected. so there's a lot to talk about. ost: tell us about fema's monetary role. are they able to pay for all of coming in? guest: they have enough money to get through the initial bid of claims, aimed at individuals, some reimbursement for state and local efforts, emergency transportation, that sort of thing. so there's also individuals who
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are applying for aid for damage to property. that is only up to $31,000. beyond that, there's gonna be a legislative fight the next couple weeks or the next year over more money to pay for bigger repairs that fema does not cover. set upwe have a phone m for those who have been impacted. the phone numbers are on the screen. if you were impacted by the hurricane -- 202-585-3883. when you were with biden, you
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shot some footage. let us take a look at the back. you can tell us what you saw and give us more of a sense of what images really captured your eyes. guest: what you are seeing here is the jersey coast from seaside heights. that is where they shot the jersey shore. we will go by the famous seaside heights pier, q rollercoaster that fell into the ocean. and if you look down the streets, there has been sand been visible on a straight down into the streets. you can see many of those houses are thrown a bit. it is really striking, especially from the air. you also see from the air house some places, the damage is really bad. and other places, it looks basically on touched. it might not be something that
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you notice when they go to the beach for a day, but in the way the beaches are shaped it affects how bad they were hit. host: property owners in the york and new jersey are discovering that neither funds contributed to them are enough to pay for the tens of thousands of dollars in damage caused by storm-driven floods. what is it like to request aid and how much money are we talking about in terms of individual payout? it does not make up what people need if you do not have flood insurance. homeowners' insurance policies do not cover flooding and damage. it is covered through this national flood insurance program which is federally subsidized because the private industry does not want to go
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near this. so, people who lived in an flood plains are required to buy flood insurance. but people who do not generally do not have it. the problem is, sandy flooded many areas that were not on those maps. i spoke to one man has been living in the same neighborhood for years and never a drop of water in his house, never bought flood insurance. he is going to be in rough shape trying to rebuild his basement. and places like hoboken, flood insurance, people have it, but it doesn't cover finished basements. we are talking not necessarily basements all the way down, but garden apartments, that is only covered up to $500,000.
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people are potentially out a lot of money even with maximum coverage. host: years a gentleman you referred to. repairs and appliances will likely cost between a $20,000.30000 dollars. fema has said it will pay $4,400 as part of an individual assistance program. let us of the individual payout. we are looking at the 616 million-forever 20,000 -- that is $660 million point to 420,000 residents. the average grant is around $1,400. the maximum payout is around $32,000. let us go to the phones, marsha ll, on our line for democrats. caller: hello. ning.mor
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fema rolled in here a few days ago. everybody laughed. we were sitting on this island by ourselves. i am trying to relocate. this cannot be a loan, i pay too many taxes. i do not know what he is talking about. fema is not helping me. guest: there are fema loans there handing out. there are loans that they will offer for damage. did you have any sort of flood insurance? what sort of damage do you have? caller: i am renting out an
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apartment right now. i am on my own. to i am not sure but i think generally offer loans for damaged to things inside your house. and i believe, i am not certain, that the grants are generally for people to, for property owners. one thing i should think you should look into his rental assistance. what is the shape of the place you are in like? caller: it is dark. host: thank you for your call. caller: i always will continue to watch. host: thank you. he taught me insurance not cover
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the entire cost. entire cost. guest: right. indicate the small business and industries and offers small loans. if you are recording studio, you may not want to take on more debt, so restaurants and these types of things, people are in rough shape. there is talk that some of them they get addressed in the supplemental funding package from congress. new york lawmakers and lawmakers will definitely ask for that. the only no. we've seen so far is andrew cuomo is going to ask for 30 billion. he is done that without talking to the congressional delegation, but he wants things like aid to small business, money for infrastructure. all lot of the local governments, city states would like to spend some money, get
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money from federal government to invest in things to make sure it is not as bad the next time it happens. >host: tear from mississippi. on the independent line. -- let's hear from mississippi. caller: i am a retired firefighter from mississippi -- from california. disasters, and most jurisdictions find they are overwhelmed by the time of happens, because disasters over what every jurisdiction. whether you are in new york or mississippi, the jurisdictions in charge of tried to mitigate the problems are so overwhelmed, and most of them are victims themselves. we need a national fire disaster program that exist within the federal cover that. the resources are there with a going to a lot of expense.
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all disasters are similar to what would happen in a hotel. if everyone goes into a hotel, they see what to happen when a fire starts, how to get out. once they are out, they need to be accounted for, and you need to have in the emergency service that can come in and mitigate the problem. most jurisdictions do not have the resources to do this. when it comes to police and fire -- when it comes to things that have to do with police, we have the fbi that is a national organization that has the resources to do things that the local to restrictions, whether state or local, do not have the resources to do. i believe it is possible to have a program for national disaster that is similar to what we do
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with police, fire, and disasters. we have a guide that was, in my opinion, the master of disaster, and for some reason they have ignored him for years. james lee witt, without question, the most effective person in the federal government during the clinton administration because he knew how to address disasters. all he is now is a paper pusher. that is basically it. guest: there is a lot of people but they there should be a greater federal role in disasters, but also a lot push back from others on the right, especially those that argue disaster relief should be more of a local responsibility, that more of the money should be returned to states that we use for disaster funding. there are a lot of instances where we see municipalities are overwhelmed. a lot of these places they rely
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on volunteer fire departments for help. i was with the vice president on sunday. we walked into the firehouse, and he asked a group of people there, including a guy who looked like he was helping out the fire department that looked like he was 40-years-old. yes, many are out of your homes. all but one or two of them raise their hands. -- how many of you are out of your homes? there are people out there that say there should be greater federal help. host: andrew grossman has been with "wall street journal" since 2009. he has a story that says --
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tell us more. what did they want? what do they expect to pay for it and what did it want to happen? >guest: they expect all of the american taxpayers to pay for it. they're talking about a series of projects that herbert -- that have already been approved. running from that night and in the west, all the way to montauk point on the east end of long island. these are a series of being to basically improved barrier beaches. these are all projects are the corps of engineers has already decided are ago. because there is the backlog of army corps projects, they do not have enough funding to do this. -- are all projects that the army corps of engineers has already decided are a go. they're asking congress put in more money for these projects
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right away so they can get done quickly. in addition, they want the army corps to do a much larger study that looks at the long-term needs of the region that would lead to constructing something on the scale of the group's system of levies that were installed in new orleans in the gulf coast after katrina. >> people asked about located -- katrina and the rebuilding. not smart to build on an ocean. will the flood-prone areas be redefined, and will reveal did occur outside areas? -- will the rebuilding occur outside those areas? guest: this will be a tricky question going forward. along the jersey shore, and iconic part of their coast, a huge industry for them. they are saying it needs to be
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rebuilt. there are other places in new york city, mayor michael bloomberg is saying that we need to reevaluate places to rebuild and make sure we move around a little bit. especially with the storm coming at a time when state and local governments are so strapped for money. that is something that is being talked about, and i think there are certain places where you can see development has increased in recent years that may have made flooding worse. this is something you hear anecdotally of the ground. talk to people on staten island where there was very bad flooding. they say 40 years ago the neighborhood ports between me and the waters was wetland and they have absorbed more of the storm surge. now it has been filled in there. that means the storm surge could go farther inland.
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host: forest hills, n.y., where richie joins us. good morning. dorothy and piedmont, alabama. dorothy, republican calller. caller: yes, i would like to know where is all of money going to that the entertainers have given to this cause? host: fund-raising events, entertainers? guest: i think there was an event on nbc, a concert. a lot of the money will go, i believe, to the red cross for disaster aid. think the programs they run put people in houses, to provide supplies for them and things they need. there is also a lot of money people are now starting to raise
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for the kinds of people we spoke about earlier, the ones who fall into the gap between the money and flood insurance. i know in hoboken they have started a relief fund. new york state has something similar. the empire state rebuilding fund or something like that. those efforts are designed to raise money for people who have suffered loss of property damage who might not be able to afford to rebuild otherwise. that will be a lot of the -- focus of every building going forward. >caller: i was recently working in brooklyn and noticed the flooding in the basement was due to the sewage system that backed up in people's houses. i was wondering if anything is being done or is going to be done. you build a flood wall or whatever you may build, but the flooding affected the people,
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and i do not believe anyone has looked at this and how this can be fixed. thank you. goodbye. guest: new york city has been spending a lot of money in recent years like this too would predict that the sewage system and infrastructure. it is probably not even up. i think pomost people would acknowledge that. the city has done a lot to upgrade, but infrastructure and a lot of places is what made it a great city 100 years ago. the subway systems, water tunnels, these are 100-years-old in some places. they are reaching the point where they are expensive to repair a leak repaired offered -- repaired often. that will be a big focus. that is something the city and state will be looking at going forward.
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in "the newtory today york times" -- how does the federal government help with this, or does it? guest: i do not know if it does. and a lot of cases they're sending in trucks to help deal with this. some of the towns are overwhelmed. and a lot of cases they will end up pay for the overtime of the workers. this will obviously be a huge drain on cities like hoboken. i talked to the mayor of reverse
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city, new jersey. same problem. they say they pull up with the 30 foot long dumpsters. they get filled up very quickly and get trapped away immediately. but people emptying out their entire homes. you see that when you drive from places like seaside heights. you see couches, beds, bookshelves, banners from high school college sports. entire lives that are being dumped out onto the streets. host: talking with andrew grossman about hurricane andrew relief. paul in pennsylvania on the democrat line. in this situation of the hurricane, we had no power, no internet service of course. we have no way of knowing about anything. it was like the whole world had
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just bought. -- just stopped. it just goes to show how unprepared things are. they have noaa radio. that sounds an alarm if there is a storm in your area to tell you what areas have been affected. it will inform people of this is what you'd do, in your power is out in monroe county or the power is out in carbon county. but informing people what to do. it just feels like someone just turn everything off. we cannot even communicate with families because the phones are down. authorities usually advise people to buy a battery-
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powered radios. it is a huge problem. umer was calling for generators for cell towers, so that when power goes down you can use your cellphone to communicate with people to get updates, and maybe you could not charge the phone in your house, but you could plug it in in your car and get information that way. we are increasingly reliant on the source of technology. when it disappears, we do not want to do. the resiliency of the networks will be looked at. host: ocean beach, st. charles. good morning. caller: my pillboxes ocean beach. i had an oceanfront house that
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was displaced car where it for originally was. i wanted to mention to you there was an act of congress back in the 1960's that subscribed to replenishment that has never been acted on. since 1976 about a dime of federal or local money has gone into replenishment on s.i. that protect long island. recently in 2009 we spent 9- $15,000 per household in the town to do a beach replenishment program. what happens now at this point? we become a federally-managed beach. we have no reaction from those in charge of the federally- managed feet to do any shoring up. it is sort of like everyone talks about stories of the force already out of the barn, and now
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they are looking to close the door. in essence the levels of bureaucracy are so thick between state and federal and the dp in national stores have the resources to pick my house up and put it back where it was. unfortunately i have a myriad of bureaucracy to go through. it is subject to further damage where it sits. sort of in a quandary. i think the levels of bureaucracy are one of the greatest it falls to doing anything anymore. there is just too much. everyone has something to say. the rules change from day to day. it is literally a nightmare. host: have you asked for help from fema? you said you could financially to get your house back in place,
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but have you ask for assistance or 8? >guest: it is not contingent upon being the strangely enough. it is contingent upon bill local and state have to give approval. i cannot indicate to fema at this point. i am waiting on what looks like months of paperwork and zoning board hearings where my house will be sitting and literally moved back my polls that are still there. i am not allowed to do virtually anything. it is a lot of sleepless nights. i know there are other people in much more difficult situation
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than myself. this is my primary residence. guest: i do not know about the approval process and for kevin. it is an interesting question. it is worth as looking into. -- us looking into. how are the situation with the dunes? i am sure that is something they will look at of the federal i believe it is included on the back log of project that the senators were asking be included, especially the lead in the breeches and you had on the beach. given that there is all this property on the other side of the great south bay and long island of fire island protect, i imagine it will be a big part of the conversation when it comes
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to a larger beach replenishment project. how that affects development and what sort of things are allowed and not allowed, i did not know. i note it is obviously a lot less build up than places like the jersey shore where there are houses literally on the water and you have the dunes there. ts in c-span junkie tweeds i -- is there anything of the federal level or state level that can be done to expedite the process to have been reporting on? guest: when it comes to development, generally, localities rule. and the federal government cannot come into the town of brookhaven and say rewrite the zoning maps. there are conversations that have taken place after december
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11 about the spending, certain rules to allow people to work in different places. there are steps for removing red tape. it is there presumably for reason. we of osha rules because people think workers should be protected from certain toxins or carcinogens that might be in the air. every time you tried to remove red tape, there may be advocates on the other side. host: a story in the new york section of "the new york times" -- story it saysther -- it talks about what is happening at the ad hoc of medical unit in long beach, new york.
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it's his day and night because of seven streaming in. how does the federal government help in that situation? guest: i believe there are resources being sentence of life. the red cross is also helping there. you have the city and state sending medical teams to buildings where they are still without power to make sure residents have medications they need. they're setting up pharmaceutical trucks, places where people can get their prescriptions filled. a lot of times lives are destroyed. it is hard to give people
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information about where to go. that is a big challenge they're working on as well. host: birds from georgia. republican calller. -- burt. caller: thank you for taking my call. i wanted to ask the question about the main media. the you think if they started covering the story before the election more seriously than they did that there might be more of this red tape that would be cut out, and if they stayed on the story like they did with hurricane katrina, up that they would really have a better situation in new york? in could tree night you had a republican administration. now, seems to be getting as
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light on this. what is your take on that? the you think the mainstream media, the big boys, are not covering this as much as they should be? guest: i work for one of the big boys, and we have been covering this pretty much nonstop since it started. i think as and competitors and colleagues have been pointing out lots of places where the government has fallen down. i know we have stories in the works of that department as we speak. there are differences in the responses between the bush administration and obama administration. the immediacy with which the president went to the disaster areas is one the sample. we have been writing, for example, about the failings of the governor in new york, a
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democrat seen as a potential 2016 candidates. he has taken a lot of criticism, especially in the new york press, but a lot of that has been run nationally as well for the handling of the long island power authority, which provides power to long island. he is responsible for this public authority, but is now lambasting it as it has had trouble. there has been coverage of places where the government has fallen down. could we do better? absolutely. you will see a closer examination as we move away from the immediate damage to people's lives in danger to the rebuilding and slow process that will go on. we of a chance now to look back and look at the decisions that were made during the storm to see where the feelings were. host: going to an orleans calller. susan on the democrats' line.
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caller: i just wanted to say we were one of the people that were taken off our roof to the superdome to katrina. it took us six weeks to get back, and two years in the event trailer to build our home. my heart goes out to all the people, but it does take time. there are roles and mitigation you have to follow. so many things to have to deal with, and it takes time. that is the hardest thing for people to deal with when they are in shock is how long it is going to take. our schools are back. we have the libraries. they are fixing our street. fema was a big help to our city. i do not think there is any other country that does what the united states does for people with aids like this happen. you could go anywhere else in the world and you would never
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find this kind of help from fema. that is all i have to say. thank you for c-span. guest: what is your neighborhood like now? guest: did most people come back? caller: everyone on my blocking back. there are a lot of people that could not come back because they had children and we had no schools. now the young people, property values are back to what their work. beautiful schools are up and running. because of the new regulations, our schools are old, and now that they have been rebuilt, they're much better schools. we have young children playing in the streets. it is all coming back. host: we appreciate you sharing your insights. guest: that is encouraging to a
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lot of people in these places like new jersey and long beach that are in especially rough shape right now. i am sure that will make people happy as well. that is in contrast to other places that have not been rebuilt. that is something that people will be happy to hear. host: storm toll compared to katrina's. looking at the reaction in the aftermath of hurricane sandy vs 2005 katrina, which affected the last calller. he says the governor of new york laid out a request for a $30 billion in federal aid for his state. that is a starting point for stocks with the obama administration. -- starting point for talks with the obama administration.
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mayor michael bloomberg also expects to receive federal funds. plans to allocate $200 million in emergency capital funding to help schools. another 300,000,004 public hospitals. --another 30 billion for public hospitals. guest: 12 billion is the immediate aid we talked about. 30 billion is long-term projects. that would go to the small business administration, department of transportation that would give it out as creance for the local transportation projects. it would hope to make the subways less vulnerable. really is less vulnerable to these types of storm surges. bill roads that are better. these are the sorts of things be but does not traditionally paid for by get dealt with by other departments. one thing the governor wants is
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upgrades to the power delivery system. upgrades to the gasoline system. we saw widespread-shortages. there is still-rationing and a bike in new york city. that is where a lot of the money would go to if he gets it. host: 80 in south carolina. democrat line. good morning. caller: i have a question for andrew. why can't we as a nation of people, all those folks out there in new orleans, why can't we do like we did some of the hurricane to train the people and bus them to other places until we can get the situation in new york and new jersey through the process?
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host: i think the phone is breaking up on us a little bit. you heard the question about busing people to other locations and giving them temporary housing. guest: that is happening in some places. one big problem that new york has is there is not a lot of vacant housing. vacancy rates are a lot lower than they are in other parts of the country. that is happening to some extent. generally it is not quite the same acute problem for you have to move an entire city. it is more spread out along the coast. you have people in the rockaways and long island that need to be moved. people without power. it is more pockets. it is happening, does not the wholesale neighborhood moves to houston that you had with her
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cane katrina. >> one last calller. david in north carolina. independent line. caller: the reason i am calling, and i want to save the american people, let's take the politics out of this thing. everyone is suffering. i have relatives in new jersey and new york. everyone is talking about gov. christie helping president obama get reelected and things like this. we do not need this now. too many people are suffering. we need to pray to god and thank them for people like fema so we can help these people overcome. that is all i want to say. stop passing the buck. that is the work of god, not obama, not president bush. let's get together and help the people in new jersey and new
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york over, this tragedy. thank you for any comments you have. thank you. host: a story in the new york times." how do relationships come into play when we're talking about federal funding of looking at the governors and congressional delegation working with others -- their peers? how did it play out? relationship tier are fascinating. -- guest: relationships here are fascinating. these are people with giant egos and a lot of cases. they're trying to get a lot done.
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gov. christie is a perfect example of that. he said, and a lot of people will agree with him, he was trying to do the best thing for his state. if you live in california or anywhere else in the country, and not so much helping the new jersey shore recover, those people are upset with chris christie. in addition, you do rtc some wrangling taking place. for example, andrew cuomo put out his request for $30 billion. he did that without talking to members of the congressional delegation. members there were a little lift that they were not part of the process, so you have the senators then we've not seen the governor's proposal. there will have to be people working together i think they will try to appeal to some sort of bipartisan responsibility.
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there are lots of republicans and democrats that should be an asset for them going into congress and asking for money. we will see how that plays out. host: andrew grossman, thank you for being with us this morning. coming next, we will talk to tom rick. he has a new book out in here to speak to us about ethics. this is related to panetta. later on, our nation's farmers face a fiscal clip of their own if congress fails to approve a farm bill. we will talk to jerry hagstrom about that. >> in health news, an independent panel that sets screening guidelines wants to make testing for the aids virus
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as common as cholesterol checks. the panel recommends americans age 16-64 should get once. turning to international news, william hague it speaking earlier today in the house of commons says britain is formally recognizing the newly-formed syrian opposition as the legitimate representative of the syrian people. this follows last week's announcement by france that they were recognizing the syrian national coalition that formed in opposition to the president. the united states has also recognized the leadership body as a legitimate representative but stopped short of describing it as the sole representative, saying the group must demonstrate the ability to represent syrians inside the country. air raid the on -- air raid sirens could be heard in the
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distance from downtown jerusalem. the second rocket attack aimed at the city since a round of fighting broke out last wednesday. it occurred as diplomats are trying to work out a cease-fire. those are some of the latest headlines on c-span radio. >> there are many people that might even take issue with grant saving the union during the civil war. didn't link it did that? yes, he did. i will not take great was the only person who's a big union, but he was the compounding -- of to -- he was the commanding general who accepted the surrender under robert e. lee that ended the war. if anybody won the war on the battlefield, if you did say that any one person did, and of course you can, but one of the things we do in history is we generalize. we simplified.
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history reality is simply too complicated to get our heads around if we deal with it in the full complexity. grant save the civil union during the war. i do contend he saved it during reconstruction as well. from obscurity, h w brands of the light of ulysses s. grant. this is part of the four-day holiday weekend starting thursday on c-span to. host: tom ricks, a senior fellow at the american enterprise university. thank you for being here this morning. we want to talk to you and hard about military ethics. leon panetta has ordered the pentagon to look into why.
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why so many generals and admirals have become embroiled in legal and ethical problems, a trend exacerbated by recent the stations of the military best- known commanders. what is he looking for? guest: i am glad to see he put up the statement. he used military professionalism. i hope the study extends not just to personal behavior, but professional execution of duty. we seem to be focusing much more on personal behavior. and i would say private behavior. as far as i can tell, and more information may come out, the petraeus situation, no criminal charges are likely to come out. i hope that they look at professional, what people do in
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their offices, as well as with the do in the bedrooms. i think the real scandal in iraq is not what the general did, but that we have put up with years of mediocre general. a real scandal in afghanistan is not john allen flirting with the woman. news flash. u.s. marine first with poland. the real scandal is we have had the levin commanding generals and 11 years, which is no way to run a war. i cannot imagine a rotating eisenhower home. there is a seriousness and the way world war two was prosecuted, but i do not see the mindless eurocrat rotation. >>host: if you would like to tak to tom ricks and are a number of active military, you can join the conversation --
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how much our ethics talk about in the military, especially at the higher levels? guest: ethics are talking about. i worry about what service being given to ethics and not sufficient attention being paid attention to competence. being a general is like a university professor with tenure. you could do lousy job, but you will keep it as long as you keep your pants on. you need to look at ethics, but you need to look at whether we are giving our soldiers the military leadership heat which they deserve.
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to really know what the general should look like. i think we tend to focus on things we do know. it is the worst things to cover, sex scandals and sports, because editors think they're experts on both. i think we need to think more about how weak it could military ow to ensure we of good military leaders of the will put up with alcoholism, racism, if they feel confident that that will help them get through the war. when you talk to combat soldiers, the one thing they really want is to survive and get through the war. if they're not grant to survive, they want to know their lives or not run away, that they did not have some booby had running the military operation. we have had some real booby heads.
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i am not talking about front line, small units. those are excellent these days. we have a well-trained, " he said combat force. what we do not have are particularly high standards for generals executing the duties. "the washingtongton poshost: post" story digs into what else has been happening in the military -- it goes through some of the accusations. it is not facing criminal charges that he sexually engage in a bold three with five women. last month the carrier of an art -- the carrier of an aircraft
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was relieved for inappropriate behavior and that the investigation. the secretary demoted, four-star commander of africa command in order to pay $82 million for taking lavish trips with his wife. >> some of those is natural human slippage. people make mistakes. people that are abusive of subordinates should be punished, but also what we're seeing in part of the poll of the military, the david petronius who got involved with paula broadwell was not the man i know -- i have known for four years. combatto wonder if his, buc tours and other stresses -- he
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had been in the military for four years and suddenly out of the world. i think the combination of years of stress and retirement may have disoriented him morally to the point where he engaged in this adulterous affair. what does bother me is he and his family, his wife, holly, were exceedingly generous over a decade of time, a motion. they gave a lot. i worry for the -- when the time came for the nation to be generous in return in what must have been an agonizing time for he and his wife, we did not give in return. we build him up into something more than human and express shock when we found out he was human after all. host: going to the funds to hear what chris had to say of south carolina. an independent calller on the line with tom ricks.
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caller: i am a sergeant in the united states army. there used to be a joke i heard coming up that it is requirement to reach a certain respect you have a divorce. there is such a high divorce rate in disconnect between soldiers and their families because of going overseas 70 times. the general was definitely ready for his position of leadership, but the man was separated from his wife for 10 years. he was a highly-respected position. your dedication and service to the military is far greater than a private. the man did not have the time to maintain a connection that was designed by god.
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temptation sets in after a time. it is sad, but he is human. guest: i agree with you. caller: it is of that the country does not hold his name because of that one act. he was a very honorable man. guest: i agree with you. i think this whole situation has more to do with the nation that it does him. we have a situation where 1% of the country has been fighting our wars, and then -- and 99 percent have been ignoring them. i think that is a bad situation. i think it is morally reckless. we have asked so much of people again and again on deployments. and i think we should not be surprised that the toll it takes on people, and marriages. ptsd.st the stress,
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we of run up a real emotional bill with these debts and need to show an understanding when the bill starts coming due. and host: democratic calller on the line. caller: i was talking to my father years ago. host: we are listening to you. go ahead. held to a farre higher standard. the people that were brought up and never given dog leashes and masks and then given them from higher up, the officer ranks. none of them were ever prosecuted. the officers always got a pass. now i am seeing it has finally
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come around. it took many years for this. wondering if you've noticed the same thing. guest: i have appeared in the military is difference banks for different ranks. a bunch of people were punished, as they should have been. in my book i argue general sanchez, the commander of the directlyraq arwar, responsible for what happened. they stuck tens of thousands of detainees and the detention system. yet a poorly-led unit, poorly resources. yet the general was not punished. iraq bitter he was not promoted after this. host: in your book you have
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american military command until today. you look at leadership in the military over decades. how hard is it right now to get fired in the military? how hard is it to be a leader to get demoted, reassigned? if you are? why? why? guest: it is hard to be judged on the confidence of the general. the last general in the u.s. army relieved as commander for poor combat leadership was a poor major-general named james baldwin in 1972. many decades ago. as far as i can tell in my research not a single general has been relieved for being a poor combat leader since then. we've seen generals relieved for various other personal lapses, but i am more concerned with
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professional competence. i think we should care more about the real lives of our soldiers that we do their sex lives. the origin of the book is looking at the question, why is no one being relieved in iraq? 155 general who commanded combat divisions in the army. 16 were fired. that is a relief rate of more than 10 percent. world war ii you had about 90 days to succeed, get killed or be promoted. -- i'm sorry, be relieved. a lot of guys were relieved. the sense was this is too important, too serious to care about officers feelings and
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careers. we need to win the war, get the and listed the best leadership we can find them, and we owe it to the american people. that is a genuine sense of professionalism as well. officers seem to be responding less to the sense of duty to the american people, and more to take care of themselves and each other. host: in a recent op-ed piece in "the new york times" --
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guest: i think it is part of a general reaction to the vietnam era. the one wants to be critical of the troops to carry out the missions. in that we have cast to widen the net and thinking about the troops. we did understand one way to support the troops is to give them good leaders. there is obligation to give people the best possible leadership. we lost that by the time of the vietnam war. the rotated officers threw on combat tours. on we know when you're the new combat commanders were more likely to die. .ost: a republican i
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lou. moving on to jim in georgia. turn down your tv when you get on the air. independent calller. caller: i just wanted to say generals have a lot of problems with political things. my cousin smuggled a movie out of iraq that shows weapons of mass destruction being used and stuff like that on people. it shows the u.n. running a caravan with army trucks and them leaving to take the weapons into syria. the fellow that did the movie to begin with got murdered.
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i agree to put some other information on -- am going to put some other information on youtube. some of it is so graphic that will have to get it myself. soldiers and democrats hate soldiers. i do not know why they hate them so bad. this movie is when to make amends with them. i appreciate your time. guest: i look forward to seeing the evidence, but one of the great myths is the weapons of mass destruction were taken to syria. i have looked at the evidence that has been available. the best evidence is the truck convoys moving from baghdad to syria just before the american invasion.
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what they were with the bath party records and personal wealth and all sorts of things that later were used to do fund the beginning of the insurgency in iraq. it was not weapons of mass destruction. there are films of weapons of mass destruction be used, because the dog hussain use them against the kurdish people in airstrikes years earlier. i wonder whether some of what you've seen might be the strikes on the kurds. host: a question on twitter -- guest: it is a good question. it goes against the issue of professionalism. one thing i love about george marshall, the army chief of staff of world war ii, the end
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of the war, the time empire offered a lot of money to write his memoirs. he said he could not do that. he said either you would have to lie or we would hurt a lot of people's feelings. he did not have much money, and this would have made him a rich man in those times, but he turned it down. i mention this because today some of the general go into defense industry jobs, and then they sell weapons to the former subordinates of the pentagon. i think it is kind of an abuse. similarly, another abuse is when a retired military officers endorse political candidates. i have our problem when it says are the major role -- army
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major-general joseph smith retired. he is using his service in rank for a political purpose. i think that is an abuse of the profession. this takes me back to the defense secretary study. there are a variety of aspects of being a professional. there are very few professions, law, clergy, medicine, military, and the commonality is you do not do it for profit. there are a bunch of questions to ask about the military profession what has happened to the military professional, the leader, over the past 50 years of our society? host: kathy, welcome. caller: now, the general was 190,000 ak47's in iraq.
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abu tortured.had marvin bush paid $2 million to lie to congress. you know what i say obama should do with big gauzy like bush did with 9/11? bands of the dead and he of the family billions of dollars. you have there'll eisa in charge to under heads of the soldiers were electrocuted and 60 billion gone. if you are a good little soldier and general, look the other way with all the fraud. you get to work for the bush family, both allen and carlyle group.
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just at a $500 million no big contract to build ieds. host: ok. a lot of anger. if you can start off with the first, she gave us and get at the heart of what she is so concerned about your da. guest: 2 issues that strike me and her rent nearly a billion of the billions of dollars were war.d in the riraq the real cia scandal of my line is we endorsed torture as a national policy, yet no one will ever be brought to account for that as far as we could see. the fbi should be investigating
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torture rather than american love affairs. this is something that really struck me. we have had to once of controversy about libya and what happened there. what happened there was bad. it was bad. four americans were killed. hundreds of security contractors were killed in iraq. i have written two books on iraq and i have never been able to figure out an exact number. the answer is no one cares and no one seems to kill stair. -- still. the official tally leaves out at least 57 incidents that we know about. the tally is quite suspect. this puts aside the foreign security contractors, south africans, costa ricans.
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there seems to be no tally of this at all and nobody cares. i have got to wonder how much of the mess in benghazi is simply fueled by fox news, poisoning the american bloodstream. it really bothers me. i compare that to the total carelessness about the deaths of security contractors in iraq. >> thomas ricks writes a blog on foreign policies website. ricks. foreignpolicy.com. he is the author of many books, including a new book called "the general's." mike inar from kentucky, republican. caller: good morning. i think this is a very interesting conversation. i am retired, a 24-year senior
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nco, and i have served under the petraeus command. my comment is that you cannot actually have a conversation on military ethics when you're fighting a war of aggression. it is naturally agreed a conflict of interest. would you find in a senior command, like field officers like general petraeus, these guys are caught in a catch-22. once they receive their wanda starke, they are sent to charm school -- once they receive their one star, they're taught appropriate procedures in charm school. they sit in hearings and panels. they had entered a lot of careers -- they had ended a lot of careers of officers over the same behaviors. when i hear about these guys, you know, general petraeus has four combat deployments. senior officers do not fight in
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command, so he was not under some post-traumatic stress incident that caused him to perform this way. he was just numb -- negligent and arrogant with his behavior. it was appropriate for him to resign for the position that he was in. military ethics has always been put to the test. both -- those of us that served, we were always in positions with young female soldiers and we understand that there was a high moral code of ethics that we had to live by. we expect the senior field officers to do the same. that is my comment. host: before we let you go, share your experience. how was that code of conduct and still dying in you? caller: never is -- how was that code of contact -- contact instilled in you?
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caller: when a soldier science his commitment to service, he relinquished his constitutional rights. he has trained over and over again on his code of conduct. he understands his rules of engagement. these things that are drilled into a soldier over and over again. for a soldier to participate in this conduct, he really has to work at this. we have several cases -- article 134 is the adultery case, and the senior field officers understand this. nco's talk about this all the time. a lot of friends have lost their careers over adultery. it is not like the military ignores these situations. we learn about this as young junior nco's.
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this -- host: tom has a question for you. guest: did you see soldiers charged with freestanding 134 adultery charges? but older, nothing else -- my experience, total three gets thrown in in the course of other things -- adultery gets thrown in with other things. something like you use the credit card to visit your mistress and they throw in adultery on the improper use of funds. did you just see adultery alone? caller: normally in a senior command and high-ranking, cid can investigate those things because they can be traced. you will not find that in the
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lower levels. only senior field command. the lower levels do not have access to those types of things. host: thank you. guest: he mentioned in charm school, which is a training course for new brigadier-general spirit i was the first reporter and i think the only one ever to attend charm school. i asked in the mid-1990's if i could go, so i went and took this course. there was a lecture given by the inspector general's office called booze, broad, airplanes, money, and golf. these were the things that get generals in trouble. the second thing, i disagree on this issue of petraeus and stress. yes, petraeus was not a frontline commander in overall command, but when he had the
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101st airborne division in mosul, he was exposed to quite a lot. even in his second -- third tour when he was overall commander in iraq, there were a lot of rockets. i remember landing in baghdad once in 2007 and on my first afternoon in downtown baghdad -- we lived out in the city, not the green zone, the reporters, and i counted about 20 rockets, mortar shells going over our heads and a landing in the green zone. even in the green zone, sometimes there was a sense that you were under combat conditions in quite a lot of stress. host: huffington post has a story about the air force reports released about a scandal at an air force base in texas. investigations of at least 25 military training instructors led to charges against 11 --
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host: what kind of message does this send? guest: the commanders need to pay more attention. i was glad to see that it was not just the drill sergeants or the drill instructors who were charged. commanders suffered consequences. this is one thing that the navy has retained a better can -- a tradition of, going back to the nautical tradition. the captain of the ship is responsible for everything that happens aboard his or her vessel. therefore, the army, i think, have lost some of that sense. i am glad to see that commanders are seven consequences for what happened on their watch. host: an independent scholar,
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welcome. -- an independent caller, welcome. caller: thank you so much for your books. they brought back some nice memories and some bad ones, too. guest: i was once told it was the funniest book a marine ever read. caller: it speaks to every -- several things you know right away if you have been in the marine corps. i wanted to mention politics and the service. it seems like we have a system that is set up to bring up the more political nature of a person and to promote the more political over the more ethical, perhaps. because there is always this weeding out of people as you get higher and higher, both in the unlisted and in the officers' corps, but it seems to be promoted even more in the officers corps. at some point, in order to get
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your star, you have to go before congress. the levels of promotion and your influence and interaction with people within the political sphere seems to be more and more ingrained and you have more and more to cover yourself for. can you speak to that and how that might affect how generals are treated? thank you. guest: first, i want to say how much i envy you living in that part of georgia. it is a beautiful place. if i could afford it, i would buy a house there. what you are speaking to is how we promote people and why we promote people. that is the theme of this book. because you want accountability. you want to reward success, punish failure, and promote the promising. we did that in world war ii. they demanded good leadership. that was the one criteria. if you do not provide it, they
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moved you want. one of my favorite trivia questions, who is major general james chaney? i have asked this in military audiences and nobody knows the answer. predecessorhower's as the american commander in england. george marshall fired him and he ended the war commanding a big camp in wichita falls. if you have accountability, if you have a system that rewards success, then people understand the structure and they try to be successful. if you have a system that is somewhat politicized with bureaucratic politics, if you do not stick your head up, do your rotation, keep your nose clean, and moved along, then you toward mediocrity. nobody takes risks and the war
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never ends. that is kind of what we have now. we have a problem in that congress does not know how to recognize military effectiveness anymore. in vietnam war, two-thirds of the members of congress had military experience. today, more than two-thirds do not. as a nation, as a political elite, and the media, people do not know how to recognize military competence. so the generals are left on the their own. frequently, the generals do not know either what military competence looks like. they know what consensus and getting along looks like. they all take care of each other. we need more altair's. -- we need more outliers. petraeus was one. he was not well-liked by his peer group in the army. he was seen as an outsider.
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he likes washington and likes politicians and reporters. and he talks with them. these things made petraeus suspect in the eyes of army generals. you'll see the lessons that generals take away, do not talk to reporters, avoid congress, and keep everybody at arm's length, and do not be too smart. those are the wrong lessons. you want generals able to understand difficult circumstances in warfare. to do that, they need to be able to think critically. to do that, you need to be educated. we have a lot of generals who are well-trained but not well- educated. trained on knowing how to fire a machine gun. educate for the unknowing. how do i go into a small, difficult, messy war and discern the facts and decide what is important and what is trivial?
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decide what to do to change the situation and then implement that solution and issued orders to thousands of people. to be a good general, you need enormous physical energy and intellectual energy. right now, we have generals who are all very fit, but many of them do not have that intellectual energy. an example would be tommy francks. not well-educated in generalship. thinking about politics but that is not his job. it is said that the job of the general is to connect the political and the military. the military operations have to have political consequences. host: his bucks include "the gamble." published two years ago. he has a new book now called "the general." we have inspired a conversation
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on facebook and twitter -- host: you can write to us to join that conversation. wild and wonderful was the twitter name. liz, maryland, democrats line, good morning. caller: i have a quick comment. i have been keeping up with this over the past couple of days. i actually listened to david petraeus accept his position and he gave a great speech. he talked about his life.
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people cheat on their wives all the time. this is not a new discovery. general petraeus will probably retire comfortably. the american people are ultimately the ones who lose out, because of the scandal. he should not be judged on what he does in his private time. that is his business. he should be judged on his proficiency and his competency. i do not understand why people are so obsessed with his social life. that high of a position should be judged purely on his merits. because one soldiers go out there and die, they should not be dying because of, you know, because they do not have the training. not because the head of the cia had an affair. thank you. guest: i was on the west coast
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last week giving some speeches. i asked audiences, is there anyone here who thinks that david petraeus was the first cia director to ever have an affair? everybody thinks this happened before. so i agree with the caller. we do not have so many good leaders again throw them away casually. front-line troops one good leadership and will put up with a lot of stuff if they can get competent leadership. host: this tweet says there's no excuse. if he was still in the military chain of command, adultery is not allowed, essentially a crime. would that be something that he could get fired for? guest: he could be charged for that, and yes, you can get relieved for it. about 10 years ago, i saw a general who slept with the wives
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of this of ordinance -- of his subordinates and retired. he was called to active duty to be court-martialed. but it was not just engaging in adultery, it was with the wives of subordinates. usually when you see generals and charged with this sort of thing, like i said earlier, it is in relation to a series of other offenses. host: do you think it would have been a fireball offense -- do you think he could have been fired for that? what about as a cia director? guest: it does raise questions about his judgment. this is not the david petraeus i have known for 15 years. he probably should have taken a year of between command in the cia job, reconnected with his family, and really just revived himself before stepping into another high-stress job.
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host: kathy, republican, good morning. caller: this conversation is being presented as a military ethics conversation, and i do not understand why the disregard for what he has done to somebody in his life. he has agreements that he made with her. he violated them. he violated them ongoing. he had to lie and manipulate for this to happen. for me, this calls into question everything about him and the way he makes decisions and what his commitments mean. and i find that you're making excuses for someone who intentionally, methodically and
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abused our relationship. and i do not think the abuse in their relationship is limited only to this one incident and everything else is just fine. host: tom ricks has a question for you. guest: more information may come out. my wife tells me when i go on tv, be careful because we never know what will come out next. in world war ii, dwight eisenhower carried on a romance with his beautiful british driver. whether it was consummated is a matter of some dispute. clearly, there was a romantic relationship. would you have fired dwight eisenhower in the spring of 1944? we do have sent thousands of additional soldiers may die because we need someone new, that we simply cannot stand to have a wide eisenhower commanding given that he was
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carrying on with the driver? would you have fired him? caller: i think i actually was, because i do not believe that he was only -- the only person in the planet who could have done this. it was a serious decision to violate a commitment. guest: i have got to say, if you put a new commander in at that point, i am not aware that there was another commander as competent as eisenhower to oversee this. there were other generals around, certainly. but if you put george patton in his position, i think we would have had deep splits with our allies during the war. i think eisenhower is underrated as a general. i think he was a great general because he did such a good job in working with the british in dealing with allies. host: thomas ricks, author of the new book "the general's."
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thank you so much for coming in this morning. coming up next, agriculture journalist jerry hagstrom will join us to talk about what is next for the farm bill in a lame duck congress and the potential impact on our nation's farmers. first, this news update from c- span radio. >> 9:22 --housing is to u.s. builders started construction last month on the most single- family homes and apartments since july of 2008. more evidence that the housing recovery is gaining momentum. the commerce department said housing starts to jump to 3.6% in october from september to a seasonally adjusted rate of 894,000. 87% above the annual rate in april of 2009. that was when the recession was at its lowest. still short of the 1.5 million annual rate that is considered healthy. the fbi spokeswoman, in a sting
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released earlier, says four southern california men have been charged with plotting to kill americans and destroy u.s. targets overseas by joining al qaeda and the taliban in afghanistan. the defendants, including a man who served in the u.s. air force, were arrested for plotting to bomb military bases and government facilities and for planning to engage in violent jihad. if convicted, they face a maximum penalty of 15 years in federal prison. an update on the middle east, egyptian president mohammed morsi speaking to reporters earlier says israel's aggression against gaza will end today. he did not provide any evidence to support his prediction that an end to the week-long offensive against the gaza is imminent, only saying negotiations between israel and gaza hamas rulers will yield positive results during the coming hours. he did not elaborate. his comments carried by the egypt official news agency tass as international diplomatic efforts to end the fighting
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picked up pace today with the scheduled arrival later of u.s. secretary of state hillary clinton. those are some of the latest headlines on c-span radio. >> how does one adequately express his feelings about a special friend? when that friend is also a world icon, and national hero of unimaginable proportions, and a legend whose name will live in history long after all here today have been forgotten? fate looked down kindly on us when she chose neil armstrong to be the first venture to another world and to have the opportunity to look back from space at the beauty of our own.
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it could have been another, but it was not. and it was not for a reason. no one, no one, but no one could have accepted the responsibility of his remarkable accomplishment with more dignity and more grace than neil armstrong. he he embodied all that is good and all that is a great about america. >> more from the memorial service for neil armstrong thanksgiving day on c-span at 10:00 a.m. eastern. before 11:30 a.m., a behind-the- scenes look at life as a teenager in the white house. just after 1:00 p.m., how scientists are using game skills and theories to solve world problems. "washington journal" continues.
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host: jerry hagstrom is founder and executive editor of the hagstrom report, falling farming issues in congress and elsewhere. what are the prospects for finishing up the farm bill during the lame-duck session? it has been sitting for how long? guest: it depends on which part, but it depends on which part you're talking about. as an agriculture reporter who has been covering this all year, i hope they do it during the lame-duck session. because the prospect of going through all of this again next year is sort of terror fighting. as an analyst, i have to say i will still give it 55% to 60%, simply because it would be so much easier to deal with this year than to bring up the whole thing again next year. host: what are the competing versions out there and what would it take to put them together? guest: the senate passed a bill
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on the senate floor. the house passed a bill in the house agriculture committee but it has never gone to the floor. there are some different provisions in the senate bill that the house bill. for example, the senate bill would cut only $4 billion over 10 years from the food stamp program. the house bill would cut a lot more. the senate bill has a commodity title that the corn and soybean industry love but that the rice and peanut producers are not very happy about. and the house bill contains the senate program for the commodities, as well as another one that the rice and peanut people are happier with. host: jerry hagstrom, founder and executive editor of the hagstrom report, a daily online newsletter. we're talking about the farm bill. if you are a farmer, you can
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give us a call at 202-585-3883. democrats, 202-585-3880. republicans, 202-585-3881. independents, 202-585-3882. again, for farmers and those in the agricultural world, 202-585- 3883. the american farmland trust gives us this breakdown of the 2010 usda farm bill spending, looking at what portions the spending goes to. food stamps were huge percentage american farmland trt . $62.9 billion. we get the commodities, conservation, crop insurance, energy, and exports. give us more insight into what the farm bill contains. guest: it is a massive piece of legislation that affects every aspect of american society, particularly rural america. it provides the most basic food assistance program in the country, food stamps, now officially called supplemental nutrition assistance program.
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then it also has a safety net for farmers in case of bad weather and low world prices. it also does things like bring the internet to rural america and promote by a diesel -- bio diesel and other bio-based products and fuels. since the farm bill expired on september 30, the agricultural department cannot do some of those things because it does not have the authority. host: why is the legislation being held up? guest: it has to come down to the house republican leadership. they did not want a floor fight over this bill before the election. there is a dispute within the house over how much to cut the food stamp program. it would have looked very bad for republicans to be in a battle over this.
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the republican leadership says there were not enough votes to pass the bill, but that is questionable because they're both democrats, like the ranking member on house agriculture and some republicans who say there would be enough votes to bring it up. host: let's look at a tweet -- guest: well, i would not actually say that we pay farmers to farm. the basic reasoning behind a farm program at all is that agriculture is an industry that is conducted outdoors. you do not have the same kinds of controls that you have if you are, let's say, building cars inside the building. so there have been problems for farmers in case of bad weather. secondly, farmers do not have a lot of control over the prices of their products because they
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are commodities. there are just so many of them. over time, we have put in these programs that attempt to smooth out the rough patches of their lives. so that is kind of the basic justification. then there are other reasons for having conservation programs to try to keep the land in good shape. host: our first caller from florida on our democrats line. good morning. turn down your tv for us and go ahead. caller: [indiscernible] host: rural housing plan? caller: it is in the budget, agriculture budget. does he know anything about this? guest: yes, the agriculture department does have a program for constructing low income housing in small towns, particularly lower income areas.
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i cannot tell you really much more about it right now. did you have a specific question? caller: my husband and i just signed up for the program. maybe you can pass this on. they have taken all the jobs away from those individuals who are running the program. they have massive files that they need help with. host: i think we lost her, but she's talking about insufficient staffing and perhaps lack of funding to departments. guest: i do not know about this particular situation, but i do know that the agricultural department has had cutbacks in staff in an attempt to control spending and comply with a presidential order to keep spending down. host: what happens if the farm bill does not get passed during the lame-duck session? how long can it be in the process?
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guest: that is an interesting question. the interesting thing about the farm bill is that, even though technically it expired on september 30, it is a complicated piece of legislation and not all of it expired. first of all, behind the farm bill, which was passed in 2008 for five years, there is something called a permanent law. these laws to back to the 1930's and 1940's, and a supposedly go into effect if a farm bill expires. however, they are so antiquated that, really, nobody wants them to go into effect. for example, the price of milk would go from $16 per hundredweight to $30 per hundred weight, which would cause a massive increase in milk prices. parts of the bill did not actually expire for some time because they are according to programs for wheat, cotton,
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rice, and more. they did not all expire on september 30. technically all of that would go into effect. the real problem in the short term is that there were programs that are not covered under permanent law that expired. for example, you cannot sign that any land for conservation programs. there cannot be any aid to farmers markets. there are no programs helping organic farmers and organic research. those have expired. some of these things that people really like in the market -- in the modern farm bills are enacted at this moment. host: john, san diego, independent line. caller: thank you. mr. hagstrom, my concern, being from california, it is a big popular movement in the u.s., the organic movement, and in
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europe and elsewhere, including in china, we have gmo labeling laws. it is my understanding that there were a lot of goodies attached to these farm bills, compliments of monsanto. you had mr. michael taylor who use to be vp of monsanto who sits in obama's cabinet. i find that very disconcerting. when i see these subsidies going to gmo crops, when i see a lot of the processed food, in terms of what it does in the long-term safety and the consequences of eating this on a habitual basis -- again, what about those writers? it seems to be unethical to put those in and there and the public clearly wants to know what is in our food and here we are doing all this. guest: he has not mention specific riders, the their
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sometimes some things attached regarding labeling. but the actual subsidies for genetically modified crops go directly to the farmers, not to monsanto, except in the case of some research programs from which they have indirectly benefited. now there is definitely a conflict between the united states and europe over labeling of genetically modified foods. and there was a provision -- an initiative in california to require it, but the voters of california rejected that. right now the voters of california have not shown a willingness to go along with that. but i think the conflict between organic and genetic modification is going to go on. there are going to be battles over this for a long time unless these two sides come to some agreement on some kind of buffer zones or something between their
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types of production. host: we have a call from our farmers line in california. caller: i wanted to see if i could get a little explanation on what the farm bill has to do for the dairymen. and there are two sides. what is the discussion and why the upper or with some dairymen and not others in this program? thank you. guest: certainly. the farm bill, over the decades, from the 1930's, has paid a big role in the dairy industry, trying to keep prices at a level where farmers could afford to stay in business, not keeping them so high that the dairy processors believe that they cannot make a profit. it is a big battle every time. under the bill that expired on september 30, there was something called the milk income
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loss concert program which paid dairy farmers when prices reach certain levels. it was important for the smaller dairy farmers. the dairy industry is having more problems than any other sector in american agriculture and that is one reason why they want this bill passed so much. the dairy industry is suffering from high feed prices because of the drought, and there have been very people, particularly in california, who have been going out of business. exactly how this is going to go is unclear, because the proposal that is in the farm bill would not have a certain kind of program to help farmers based on the cost of production. there are people in the dairy processing industry who do not like that provision. in general, the dairy farmers' support this very strongly, and it is in both the senate bill
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and the house bill. host: jerry hagstrom runs the hagstrom report. here is one of his recent bulletin's. the american farm bureau, calling for action on a new farm bill during a lame-duck session. the house agriculture committee chairman, republican of oklahoma, declined comment. this was a couple of weeks ago. have things really involved? you point out that the house -- if the house does not pass the farm bill and go to conference with the senate before the end of the year, all the work done so far would be for naught and the process would have to start over again. guest: yes, i think i can say that the house agriculture committee chairman does want this done. he has spoken about it since that. that was the day after the election. all the agricultural leaders on
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capitol hill, the chairman of chairman synodag committee -- the senate ag committee, the ranking member on the senate side, everybody wants to get the bill done. but it is true that if they do not finish it, they have to start over. because the bill dies at the end of the congress. so the idea of going through all of the hearings again, particularly with new senators, new members of the house, and there may be a lot of those, is a daunting task. that is what people in agriculture think it would be so much better to finish the bill this year. most likely, it would have to be finished in the context of dealing with the fiscal cliff. host: you reported on the agricultural committee leadership in that the senate side. are we seeing changes? >guest: senator cochran of
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mississippi is apparently a challenging pat roberts, center of kansas, for the position of the ranking member of the senate agriculture committee. as far as i know, that has not been resolved at this time. it reflects this battle within it the senate over whether the senate bill helps the southern farmers enough. in a strange way, the southern republicans ended up being outnumbered on the senate ag committee, so they did not prevail what they wanted in the bill, and they're not very happy about it. we have a regional battle as well as a partisan battle. host: tennessee, republican caller. caller: good morning. i have several comments and questions. are we still paying farmers and not the farm? does the ethanol subsidy fall under this bill?
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because we're paying this at the gas pump. we are paying for the ethanol to be made. another thing, i think there's too many people taking handouts from the government, and i am just concerned about the money. we just do not have the money anymore. guest: ok, i will deal with each of those questions. in terms of paying farmers not too far, the government pays farmers not to farm only in the context of paying them a rental payments on land deemed marginal for production. the reason for that is when this land is farmed, sometimes it causes surpluses of products, but it also caused environmental products. it was land near riverbanks, places like that that should never have been farmed, so they established a program to tragedy that land out of production.
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on ethanol, ethanol is not a part of this bill. ethanol -- we're talking about the renewable fuel standard which was passed under a different law. it is handled by different committees in congress. and some of the ethanol program has expired, but the renewable fuel standards stays in place. if somebody is upset about ethanol, they have to deal with it differently, not in this spirit on the 10 million people taking handouts, i am not sure where that number comes from. i think that is a battle that is being discussed a lot in congress as to whether or not the current requirement to get on the food stamp program are appropriate or not. the anti-hunger advocates will say the current standards are appropriate. the fact that we have 47 million people on food stamps is a
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reflection on the bad economy and that they deserve their benefit. but there are people who thinks that the way in which they qualify is skewed and perhaps they should be cut back. host: two tweets -- guest: first of all, the reason that food stamps is attached to the farm bill is that in the 1960's, there were two problems. one was that there were hungry people in the country. the second problem was that as more and more people moved to the cities, it was getting harder to get members of the house of representatives to vote for the farm bill. because people who live in the cities did not see any direct interest in this. so the food stamp program was
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created when lyndon johnson was president. it was attached to the farm bill. ever since, we have had a coalition that passes the bill that includes food stamps and the farm program. so that is why it is there. now, there are some people who would like to separate this. some people have wanted to get rid of the food stamps because they thought you could get rid of the farm program. people who did not like the farm program. but now there are people who want to separate the because they think they could either get rid of or scale back the food stamp program a lot. i think it would be hard to pass either one without the two together. this coalition has worked very well, and i would imagine that it will be kept together. host: in addition to being the founder and executive editor of the hagstrom report, the daily online newsletter on agricultural issues, our guest has written for national journal as a columnist and is a native
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of north dakota and grew up on a family farm. kentucky, a democrat. caller: good morning, nice to finally speak to someone that is taking part in the farm bill. we like to ask each person to think back to the dust bowl, the great depression, how important the farmland was to those people who made great sacrifices and migrated to california. the plains states were so devastated. to challenge each american to come to a farm -- we have a farm here in our family and have for years. we retired from public work and have a beef cattle operation now. when i go to a local supermarket, people are gasping at the prices of beef.
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i would like to challenge as also the ones complaining about the milk. carry the stress of the seven- day workload and the stress of the weather. i think most people get the picture of what i am talking about. [indiscernible] so that americans can eat and survive. i wish and hope that this farm bill would go through, not only for kentucky farmers -- my dad is 90 years old, a world war ii veterans dying of alzheimer's. the only thing he talks about is his great pride of when he moved and bought and retard and sacrificed his life to build his 300-acre farm. please let this farm bill go through. thank you so much. host: thank you for sharing your family's story. she was supportive of the farm bill.
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what do you hear from farmers and ranchers? guest: they are supportive, but they're frustrated at the present time because they have tried a number of times this year to get the house to take it up. they're hoping that they will take it up before the end of the year. also, that they will reach agreement on this quickly, because there are these matters that have to be negotiated. such as, what is the likelihood of a cut in food stamps and what that cut would be, and secondly, how to solve the problem between the north and the south over the commodity title. i might add that i do think most americans to realize that farm life is hard. even in this day and age with all the modern equipment and help the people have. so i think there is a collective memory of this country of how hard farm life is because so
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many people come from farm backgrounds. host: houston, texas, republican. good morning. caller: i have two questions. one is on the inheritance tax over $1 million. my grandfather -- i do not work it, but my family works up in lubbock. they're probably going to lose their farms because of the inheritance tax. i mean, it can anything be done about that? a couple years ago here in texas, i guess it was african- americans -- signing people up, just saying there were farmers. i thought it was a scam. if they potted a planned, they were considered farmers and they
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got some kind of money. is that still going on? guest: ok, on the inheritance tax, it is true that farmers face an issue because land- holdings become so valuable and that they absolutely need it those land-holdings in order to operate. it is likely that the estate tax will be one of the things it dealt with in the fiscal cliff. but i also think that the biggest farmers have to accept that they will have to pay some sort of a state tax, along with other people. sometimes this is exaggerated. on the scam in texas, i am not sure what you're talking about. i think there are scams in rural america once in awhile. host: he mentioned african- american farmers. if free lancer talks about
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paying african-american farmers after years of discrimination and releasing the money. guest: there were two legal cases that were brought to the court because the agriculture department did discriminate against black farmers for decades. and i think i can say did because the courts ruled that that did happen. at least some of that money has been paid out. i do not think all the pay-outs have been made and i cannot give an update on the exact status. host: tennessee, independent line. caller: good morning. two questions. could we consider this farm bill to be an energy bill?
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would the speaker talk about water subsidies, how agriculture is the second largest consumer of water, second only to utilities? i believe this farm bill includes water subsidies as part of the distributions. and the second is, can we turn this farm bill into a health bill? seems like we're concerned about medicare going bankrupt. the primary cause is obesity. since the 1970's and the introduction of corn syrup, it looks like there is a relationship between corn syrup and obesity. can we find a way to reassess the corn subsidies and make health policy part of farm policy? thank you. guest: well, you have got several questions. first, on the issue of water subsidies, they are not part of the farm bill. they're part of different legislation and those programs are handled by the interior department, not the agricultural
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department. there could be some minor program on the farm bill that i do not know about. but, in general, those are handled differently. or they are handled at the state level, particularly in california. true that agriculture is a big user of water. on turning the farm bill into a health bill, i think that there is going to be more pressure for that in the future. two years ago, a bill was passed which is changing the meals that are served in schools. there has been some reaction against that. on the issue of whether high fructose corn syrup is responsible for obesity, you can have a debate about that, but i tend to think that the biggest problem causing obesity is just a portion size on everything. and i think there will be a lot of pressure in the future to
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bring our eating in line, and the future of food in america is probably a smaller portions of higher-quality food. host: this comes from online -- washington insiders say the farm bill, which is 80% in nutrition programs would save $23 billion to a billion dollars over the next decade. how is this being tied to the fiscal cliff? guest: the senate version of the farm bill would cut $23 billion from current estimated spending over the next 10 years. the house version would cut about 35 billion, cutting more from the food stamp program. so the idea of tying the two together is that the congress
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could use the savings from the farm program as part of the down payment on the fiscal cliff. $23 billion is real money. $35 billion is even more. somewhere in the middle, quite a bit. even if it waited until next year, the likelihood is that the two would still be tied together in some kind of financial legislation. but the thing is if you wait, then you are going to have to renew the farm bill and you're going to lose some of the savings. it is just not clear how it would proceed next year, probably to the disadvantage of the farmers. host: a democrat caller, welcome. caller: good morning. thank you for allowing me to talk.
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there is a delay. host: we can hear you loud and clear. caller: thank you. i am a democrat and i hear everything. they should go along with the farm bill. host: keep going. caller: my understanding is, you know, kind of like the food stamp program, it is a guarantee that the farmers will have a crop and will be able to sell it. when we have bad weather, hurricanes, like andrew cuomo over there -- it was great how mayor bloomberg was able to switch over and endorsed obama. so a lot of things play into it, like mother nature. i am a democrat, not a religious
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man, but i do believe in christ. and nature plays a lot of games -- not actually games, it is very serious. host: he mentioned, of course, the hurricane. but the drought was the big story this summer. a delay in farm bill passage -- what will that mean for the spurt in -- spring? guest: farmers need passage to re-enter their bankers that the farm program is stable. this past year, the key program that has been important in the drought has been the crop insurance program. that has been the way in which farmers to experience crop losses have gotten some compensation. they have gotten $3.5 billion out of that to date, and there will probably get more. crop insurance will continue. it is also passed under a different bill. but the programs that surround
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it, those need to be reauthorize and modernized. so that is important. host: holly, california, californiacaller. caller: jerry mentioned the california vote on proposition which would add gmo labeling on foods that failed. that is not quite accurate. it is very, very close and the vote has not been certified. as a supporter of proposition 37, i was impressed with the number of people that were educated enough to vote yes. the internet may be helping. we need to educate the public more about this, just as we do about organic foods. host: ok, let's look at a story that jerry hagstrom recently wrote. this may have policy
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implications -- and host: what the implications? guest: since the democrats are in control of the white house and the senate, the question is, how will they feel towards rural people? rural people were not very supportive of president obama. the interesting thing is that in 2008, the world's bloat -- the rural vote was split between john mccain and barack obama. that was a higher vote for the democrat than usual. and, believe me, the farmers have made the most of that in their dealings with the agricultural department. the question is, how will that go? i do not know the repercussions of this, but i will be